|LONG HAUL: Banners mark the edge of the site, above, and protestors strap in for the duration, left|
By Steve Neale
ANTI-ROAD protesters have vowed to stage an indefinite sit in to protect an ancient burial site.
Action group Parklife set up a tree house camp last Thursday in a bid to keep the bulldozers off Priory Crescent.
The site was described as one of the UK's most important, after a Saxon King's tomb was uncovered by contractors.
Southend Council aims to build an £8million dual carriageway across the burial site. More than 100 trees would also be lost.
Parklife spokesman, Shaun Qureshi, called on local people to join the peaceful protest, which he said aimed to stop the road.
"People don't want the remains of their Saxon burial stuck in a cardboard box, on a shelf, in a museum, in London. We want it here," he said.
"We're putting the spotlight on one of the most ridiculous road schemes ever devised.
"We will do our utmost best to maintain a presence as long as we can, for as long as needed. We know we have the support of local people."
Southend Council received more than 20,000 signed objections to the scheme, which was approved by a planning inspector earlier this year.
Councillor Ann Holland, lead member for sport and amenity, criticised the protesters for refusing to accept the inspector's ruling.
"This application has already gone to a full inquiry," she said. "Once the due process has been followed, people should accept that result."